consumer protection http://michiganradio.org en Report finds there's still 'Trouble in Toyland' http://michiganradio.org/post/report-finds-theres-still-trouble-toyland <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Safety is gradually improving, but toy-shoppers should still be watchful this holiday season.</span></p><p>That’s the main message from this year’s annual ‘Trouble in Toyland’ toy safety report from the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM).</p><p>The group says the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed in 2008, has improved toy safety.</p><p>But it warns that some toys can and do fall through the regulatory cracks. The group found toys that exceed federal standards for lead, cadmium, phthalates, and other toxins that can impair child development.</p><p>And PIRGIM suggests some of those laws could be tightened up, too.</p><p>Spokesman Eric Mosher points to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil case. It contains much more of the toxic element cadmium—about 600 parts per million--than federal law allows.</p><p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:36:34 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15460 at http://michiganradio.org Report finds there's still 'Trouble in Toyland' Study: Phthalates affect child development http://michiganradio.org/post/study-phthalates-affect-child-development <p>Phthalates are a class of chemicals that have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. They&rsquo;re used in all kinds of consumer products including flooring, cars and cosmetics.</p><p><a href="http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1103705">A new study published today</a> finds a significant link between pregnant women&rsquo;s exposure to phthalates and negative impacts on their children&rsquo;s development.</p><p>Robin Whyatt is a professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and she&rsquo;s the lead author of the study. She and her team have an ongoing study of more than 700 mothers and their children that began in 1998.</p><p>For this particular study, they looked at about half of those mother-child pairs. They measured phthalate levels in the mothers&rsquo; urine and compared those levels to several developmental tests on their children, who are now three years old.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;As levels in the mothers&#39; urine went up, the child&rsquo;s motor development went down significantly.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>She says the types of phthalates they studied appear to affect the babies&rsquo; brain development while they&rsquo;re still in utero.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Three of the phthalates were significantly associated with behavioral disorders, or behavioral problems: anxious, depressed behaviors, emotionally reactive behaviors, withdrawn behavior.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Whyatt says they controlled for a long list of factors. They looked at tobacco smoke, lead, pesticides, and other toxic substances.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;We controlled for race and ethnicity, gestational age. We looked at marital status, we looked at a number of different indicators of poverty and also how much hardship a woman was going through.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>And she says still, there was a significant link between the mothers&rsquo; phthalate levels and their children&rsquo;s development.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Our findings are concerning because saw a two to three fold increase in the odds that the child would have motor delays and or behavioral problems.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>But she says more research is needed. And parents should keep in mind that any individual child&rsquo;s risk is low.</p><p> Tue, 06 Sep 2011 14:57:52 +0000 Rebecca Williams 4037 at http://michiganradio.org Study: Phthalates affect child development Fake news websites taken to court over acai berry claims http://michiganradio.org/post/fake-news-websites-taken-court-over-acai-berry-claims <p>Two men from Michigan were named in a <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/04/fakenews.shtm">series of lawsuits</a> filed by the Federal Trade Commission for making false claims about the health benefits of acai berries. The FTC filed a total of ten cases against similar websites across the country.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:02:19 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 2148 at http://michiganradio.org Fake news websites taken to court over acai berry claims Granholm won't lead new consumer financial protection agency http://michiganradio.org/post/granholm-wont-lead-new-consumer-financial-protection-agency <p>President Obama once considered Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for <a href="http://michiganmessenger.com/36754/granholm-on-not-so-short-list-for-supreme-court">a supreme court judgeship</a>.</p><p>Now, it looks like the administration was considering her for another job: the head of the new consumer financial protection agency.</p><p>But Granholm has declined to be considered for the position.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110406/POLITICS03/104060382/1361/Granholm-won%E2%80%99t-head-new-consumer-agency">Detroit News </a>reports:</p><blockquote>Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today she has no plans to head a new federal agency charged with protecting consumers of financial products such as mortgages and bank accounts.<p>Reuters reported that Federal Reserve board member Sarah Raskin also is under consideration to head the new consumer protection body called the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Wed, 06 Apr 2011 19:01:35 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 1941 at http://michiganradio.org Granholm won't lead new consumer financial protection agency